Several years ago I started down the path of working with people with neurological conditions. With my medical background I already knew when you are faced with a neuro diagnosis, you may not be given guiding principles surrounding your movement. And what exactly or where exactly does that leave you?!?!? I wanted to be able to guide people and empower people to be able to exercise, meet, and exceed their movement goals. That was when I found the Neuro Studio. At that point, I undertook additional training and became the premier Neurorehab Studio in St. Louis.
Neurological conditions span quite a distance. Some of the conditions I deal directly with are; traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, MS, Parkinsons, Cerebral Palsy, and stroke.
Understanding neurological disease progressions and how activity or inactivity affect a client is very important. Not only that, it is not a one size fits all. Significant modifications and tailoring are necessary for each individual. One should not be put into a box, even if the diagnosis is the same. If you or someone you know has MS, their workout is significantly different than another that has MS. This is because symptoms are quite varied with each person. From a movement standpoint, the session changes greatly depending on the client and how they are feeling when they walk into the studio.
So, how can Pilates help someone with a neurological condition? A couple of ways….
Improve strength, flexibility, and balance
Improve the mind-body connection
Improve movement patterns
Meeting the client where they are
Number 5 and 1 are my favorite reasons. Not that 2 – 4 are not important! And 1 – 5 apply to everyone that walks through the door at 314 Pilates. But, 1 & 5 are my favorite. And that is because I strive to meet the client wherever they are and understand their goals. Sometimes people with a diagnosis walk in already defeated in their movement. Mostly because they were not utilizing a targeted game plan taking into consideration their diagnosis, symptoms, life style, and goals. So, their empowerment is low and they can feel defeated. But, after carefully listening and understanding what they have done in the past, what their current state is, and where they want to be; we create a plan together. What is feasible for them, what is realistic, what level of challenge is needed, and how can we achieve it together.
Having a neurological condition may haven taken you on twists and turns in your movement journey. All of which may have not left you reaching the goals you wanted and ultimately feeling defeated. Our goal when you come to 314 Pilates is that you will find we can create a path that is true to your needs and wants. Always adjusting and striving for what you desire given the current state. Giving hope and joy where discouragement and disappointment may have been.
See you in the studio,
P.S. For more information on Pilates & Neuro conditions check out The Neuro Studio, here.